At the 1956 NCAA tournament Simon Roberts broke new ground in the college wrestling world. As a junior, competing at the 147-pound weight class for the University of Iowa, Roberts became the first black wrestler to ever win an NCAA title. Entering the tournament seeded sixth, Roberts upset the second and fourth seeded wrestlers on his way to a hard-fought championship victory. A native of Davenport, Roberts was also the first black wrestler to win an individual state title in Iowa. He was a state champion in 1954 at 133 pounds. He is retired from a long career in education and lives in Los Angeles.